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Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits

07:34 PM | 2 Apr, 2024
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits
Discover Thailand: Unveiling My Ultimate 'Must-See' Destinations and Expert Tips from Two Visits

Thailand is a country on the bucket list of all those who wish to explore the world. Be they sunny beaches or cuisines of Bangkok or the somewhat notorious part of Pattaya, the country is frequented by millions of people from across the world every year.

I managed to visit Thailand twice in three months and without any delay, I would like to share the top spots in the country for visiting and the tips to better plan your tour.

Shopping in Bangkok

When it comes to shopping, Thailand and especially Bangkok offers multiple spots. If you are up for some high-end swish brands like Louis Vuitton or Chanel, go to Iconsiam in Bangkok which is a multi-story mega mall lined with dozens of high-end brands from clothing to technology. For instance, it also houses an Apple store and you can get any gadgets or accessories from here.

Another high-end shopping centre Is Centralworld. This is the ninth biggest shopping complex in the world and offers opportunities to those who can splash on their leisure trip. This shopping centre flaunts brands like Adidas, Aldo, Calvin Klein and many others.

Another shopping mall that I visited was Terminal 21 located at Sukhumvit 19. This shopping mall is different in the sense that every level of the building comes with a representation of a country or city style. For instance, it boasts Rome, Tokyo, London, Turkey and other countries represented on each floor.

If you want to go to other malls where you can shop locally and at a reduced price, a visit to the MBK centre is a must. Continue your walk towards the upper floors of MBK Centre to get better deals and yes there are other shopping malls facing MBK Centre. Another advantage of the MBK centre is that the BTS Skytrain has a station there. 

Other shopping centres include Siam Centre and Robinson Centre which sit close to the Bang Rak area.

There are many roadside markets in Bangkok and one can purchase stuff at reduced prices from there as well. For example, the Patpong night market can be explored for souvenirs, shawls, caps, hats and other items. In the same way, the Lalai Sap market in Bang Rak can also be explored which offers shoppers to get the stuff at a reduced rate. 

Remember that the shopping centres in Bangkok largely close at 10 P.M so you should be ready to have explored them all by 9.30 P.M. As far as roadside markets are concerned, their timings vary and some even close before 1130 A.M in the morning.

Where to Stay

I would advise that the place where you stay in Bangkok determines the number of spots you can visit. In this regard, I have identified the Bang Rak area to be the best. The reason for this choice is that most of the tourist hotspots sit near this area. For instance, I did not find any attractive must-visit spot at more than a distance of 7-8 kilometres at max from this Bang Rak Area. Moreover, this area has lots of BTS Skytrain Stations and so one can easily visit nearby places if you book a hotel here.

For some people who are not used to the culture, it is to be clarified that Muslim showers are not available in many hotels across the city but some hotels do offer them. In this regard, the Pas Cher De Hotel and Prince Palace Hotel both have Muslim showers in their washrooms but one must confirm again before visiting these places.

Finding Food

You can find food from every nook and corner of Bangkok. From street food to mini-cafes to swish restaurants, Bangkok boasts tons of eateries located everywhere but the basic problem is presented when one tries to have Halal food.

This needs to be kept in mind that finding Halal food is somewhat difficult but not impossible. For instance, in Bang Rak area there are multiple restaurants which serve Halal Food. These restaurants include Lahore Restaurant near Silom Road which offers Halal as well as Lahori food and so one can have true spicy delight from this eatery.

Al-Rahaman Restaurant near Maha Set Road is a good name as well. I have tried this eatery over 6 times and I can certify that their food is good (I am not being sponsored for saying this). But one thing should be kept in mind that they serve spicy food and you must tell them before placing the order if you don’t like spicy food.

Moreover, in MBK centre as well as Terminal 21 shopping Plaza, there are some Halal options available. For example, Mr. Shawarma was a good option available. It is also located in MBK centre and the chef serves delicious Shawarmas and other fast food items.

What to Visit

The Grand Palace

No visit to Bangkok can complete without a trip to the Grand Palace. The Palace closes at 3.30 P.M but those who enter before this time can explore the place till 4.30 P.M. This palace houses museums and you need around 2 hours to explore this majestic beauty. There are buddhas as well as temples inside the palace and the visit costs a ticket of TBH 500.

The Reclining Buddha

The official name of this attraction is Wat Pho. It is one of the top six temples in Thailand and is famous for the huge statue of the Reclining Buddha which is 46 metres long. The ticket of this attraction costs 200 TBH but the facility houses many buddhas.

Asiatique

Asiatique the riverfront is the one spot liked for multiple reasons, If you want to enjoy the serenity of the riverside adjacent to the bustling restaurants, you should visit this place. It sits next to the Chao Phraya River and has Halal food options as well. There are dozens of shops for buying clothes here. The skyline is visible from this place and one can immerse him/herself in the vastness of the river. You can also dine in at a restaurant while looking at the river and enjoying the calm.

Mahanakhon Skywalk

If you are a thrill seeker and height doesn’t scare you, go visit the Mahanakhon Skywalk which is Thailand’s highest observation deck at 314 metres and gives a perfect view of Bangkok.  It is located right in the middle of Bangkok’s central business district at Chong Nonsi BTS station.

Through the 78th floor, you can have 360-degree panoramic views from an outdoor viewing area. You can visit this attraction from 10:00 - 19:00 hrs at a ticket price varying from 880 to 1080 TBH. 

Cruise Dinner

A cruise Dinner while on a ferry through the Chao Phraya River is a must for those travelling to Bangkok. These cruise dinners can be booked online and there are many options available in this regard. When the sun sets and the temperature cools down, you can enjoy the cruise dinner which comes with live music and performances. 

A variety of cuisines are served and one can have a pleasant evening while enjoying the cruise dinner. People from across the world are aboard the ferry and you can strike up a conversation, enjoy the dinner and be mesmerized by the views that the ferry presents. 

Bangkok Art & Culture Centre

If you are into art and love being surrounded by paintings and handicrafts, you should visit this art and culture centre in Bangkok which is a small multi-story building and presents pieces of art. It doesn’t have any famous paintings but those who are interested in art can find things for their pleasure. The entry is free and the centre is not that crowded. It sits close to the MBK centre and is easily accessible through Metro.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum 

Madame Tussauds Museum is popular around the world for a real wax museum and it is also available in Bangkok. You can get a chance to visit your favourite superstars and get a fun experience with special interactive features and take a selfie as well. The wax statues of celebrities from art, music, science, and culture can be seen here including Mark Zuckerberg, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein etc.

The Single ticket admission costs 990 TBH* if you book online. It opens from 10 am - 8 pm but the last entry is at 7 pm.

What’s worthy besides Bangkok - Pattaya

If you have a day or two and you want to explore beaches, Pattaya City should be your destination. It is around 190 km from Bangkok and you can simply head to the Ekkamai bus terminal in Bangkok and get a ticket to Pattaya. One thing should be kept in mind before buying the ticket, do confirm whether you are buying the ticket for a bus or a van as there are also vans heading to Pattaya. Try to get into a bus which is more spacious and comfortable than a van.

In Pattaya, you can stay at any location but I chose Boutique Paradise Hotel due to its easy access (Just to reiterate that this is not a sponsored post and I am just sharing what I explored. One can choose a hotel of their own liking). This place was close to the Jomtien beach. To head to other beaches close to Jomtien beaches, Toyota Hilux are roaming around. You can simply hop onto one of them from behind even without asking the driver and can pay the price when you disembark.   

Pattaya offers itself as a party destination and one of its most discussed aspects is the walking street lined with bars, cafes and nightclubs which keep it boisterous.

Another great place to visit is Pattaya Dolphinarium where the Dolphin and Seal show can enthral you. It’s an hour-and-a-half show which truly mesmerizes and captures their attention. With a couple of dolphins and seals, the performers paint a scene which is worth watching and remembering for life. If you have time to spend in Pattaya, I would recommend watching this show. The first show normally starts at 11 AM and one should visit its website to buy tickets and confirm the schedule because there are some days when there is no show. The ticket price differs based on seating location but hovers around 800 TBH. 

Regarding food in Pattaya, one should feel free as there are a couple of options and multiple Indian/Pakistani hotels for those who prefer Halal food.

Another benefit of visiting Pattaya is that one can have milk tea which is a must for those residing in Pakistan or India as people from both these countries are addicted to regular Milk tea. 

My final words are that if you are planning any trip, you should ditch countries like Dubai and even Azerbaijan and book your flight direct to Thailand as it offers family destinations like Phuket, party spots like Pattaya and a metropolitan vibe like Bangkok and one can enjoy the silence of beaches and noise of the city within a span of 190 KM as Bangkok is merely around 190 KM from Pattaya. 

*Prices were updated at the time of writing the article which might fluctuate.

The writer is a civil servant and can be accessed on Twitter @haidersays

The writer is a civil servant.

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Pakistani Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 28 May 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on May 28, 2024 (Tuesday) in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.25 for selling.

Euro stands at 298 for buying and 301 for selling while British Pound rate is 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal increased to 73.45.

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.25
Euro EUR 298 301
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.25 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.45 74.2
Australian Dollar AUD 183 184.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.03 748.03
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.42 38.82
Danish Krone DKK 40.44 40.84
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.62 35.97
Indian Rupee INR 3.35 3.46
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 904.07 913.07
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.05 59.65
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.03 172.03
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.92 26.22
Omani Riyal OMR 723.64 731.64
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203 205
Swedish Korona SEK 26.02 26.32
Swiss Franc CHF 304.75 307.25
Thai Bhat THB 7.6 7.75

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